I made a huge mistake by watching The Hunger Games film before reading the book. The film integrates a carefully selected cast, special effects, and music, with producers, directors, and screenwriters. Suzanne Collins’s trilogy is similar, but definitely not the same as the books she wrote. The main differences are crucial intricate details that amount to much greater themes. Without these in the movie, viewers who have not read the books may be introduced to misleading conclusions.
To begin, the mockingjay is an important symbol throughout the entire trilogy. It symbolizes hope and escape from the Capitol, along with rebellion and perseverance. In the book, Katniss is first exposed to the mockingjay when the Mayor’s daughter, Madge, gives her the pin. This reassures Katniss that Madge really was her friend all throughout school. The pin reminds her that even though she must fight through The Hunger Games, her confidence must follow her until the end. In the movie, Katniss simply finds the pin. This removes the entire backstory of Madge and her relationship with Katniss. It removes the depth of the actual meaning behind the pin. Instead of symbolizing reoccurring themes in the book, the movie makes the pin seem like an unimportant object.
Another difference I noticed was between Peeta, Cinna, and Katniss. In the book, Haymitch orders Peeta and Katniss to do everything their stylists say without any objections. This includes when Cinna orders them to hold hands right before they are presented for the games. His idea is supposed to help the pair gain more sponsors. However, in the movie, holding hands during their entrance is Peeta’s idea. This makes Peeta look like he wants to hold hands for his own benefit instead of for the game, which is partially true, but the book explains the situation in depth. The movie doesn’t show the true struggle Peeta has between faking loving Katniss when he actually does. As a reader, this confuses me because it diminishes the intensity of Peeta’s inner struggles.
Both of these instances exemplify small changes in the book that leave a big impact on the themes of The Hunger Games. Although the movie is exciting, I enjoy The Hunger Games book more. It never fails to provide the reader with intimate details that make the book all the more enjoyable.